Shabnam Mousavi

In existographies, Shabnam Mousavi (c.1973-) is an Iranian-born American behavioral economist, financial statistician, and electrical engineer, noted for []

In 2019, Mousavi, in her “Physical Laws and Human Behavior: a Three-Tier Framework”, building thematically on John Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern’s concept of “reasonable behavior”, from their Theory of Games and Economic Behavior (1953), mixed with the “principle of least action” applied socially, e.g. as done by George Zipf (1949), ideas on “zero-intelligence” (ZI) economic agents (see: agent, active Brownian agent, homo economicus), crowd dynamics, along with Karl Friston’s 2007 Shannon bandwagon riding “information free energy” model of the of the brain, among other sources, to attempt to ferret out a compatiblism conception of a non-reductive (see: anti-reductionism) model of behavioral economics based on universal physical models, or something to this effect. [1]

In Feb 2020, Mousavi, in her “Framing Human Action in Physics: Valid Reconstruction, Invalid Reduction” talk, attempted to digress on physics applied to behavioral economics, in respect to naïve optimism of a quick jump from mathematical and engineering based scientific economics to policy and decision making; the abstract of which is as follows: [2]

“The human mind operates with a neurobiological brain in the physical world. Its sphere of existence comprises many layers that interact in reality yet are considered discrete in theory. Over a century of ‘scientifizing’ economics by engineers and mathematicians has generated a sophisticated reverse-engineering framework for a mechanical analysis of human behavior. Along the way, behavioral economics has been shaped by attempts to augment this rigorous framework with insights from psychology and other disciplines in order to acquire explanatory power for anomalous behavior. The main challenge to expanding this theory is how to surpass the mechanics of formalization, as integrating the reality of humans comes at the cost of messier mathematics. When it comes to policy recommendations and other societal matters involving economists’ counsel, maintaining ease of analyses is not implication-free. The problem is not this inherent tradeoff, but instead a naïve optimism toward its consequences.”

In Jun 2020, Mousavi, at the Thermodynamics Two Cultures Conference, gave a talk on “Framing Human Behavior in Physics Before Biology and Social Science”. [3]

Mousavi completed her BS in electrical engineering in 1995 at Sharif University of Technology, a PhD in economics in 2002 and a second PhD in statistics, both at Virginia Tech. (Ѻ) Presently, she his associated with the Max Planck Institute for Human Development.

Quotes | Employed
The following are quotes employed by Mousavi:

“The question for me is how can the human mind occur in the physical universe. We now know that the world is governed by physics. We now understand the way biology nestles comfortably within that. The issue is how will the mind do that as well.”
— Allen Newell (1991), Reference (Ѻ), Carnegie Mellon University, Dec 4; basis of John Anderson’s 2007 How Can the Human Mind Occur in the Physical Universe; Anderson’s book cited by Shabnam Mousavi (pg. #) in her “Physical Laws and Human Behavior” [1]

See also
Animate matter (see: animate thing)
● Inanimate matter (see: inanimate thing)

1. (a) Mousavi, Shabnam; Sunder, Shyam. (2019). “Physical Laws and Human Behavior: a Three-Tier Framework” (pdf), Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper, No. 2173, Feb 21.
2. Mousavi, Shabnam. (2020). “Framing Human Action in Physics: Valid Reconstruction, Invalid Reduction” (Ѻ) (abs), Being Human in the Age of the Brain, Video Four, Institute for Advanced Study in Culture, Feb 21.
3. Mousavi, Shabnam; Sunder, Shyam. (2020). “Framing Human Behavior in Physics Before Biology” (Ѻ), Thermodynamics 2.0 Conference, Jun 24.

External links
Shabnam Mousavi – Google Scholars.
Shabnam Mousavi (faculty) – Max Planck Institute for Human Development.

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